“The things that have been most valuable to me I did not learn in school.”
– Will Smith
“You don’t learn to walk by following rules. You learn by doing, and by falling over.”
– Richard Branson
Where do I even begin?
Well to start, its 12:18 pm and its a beautiful sunny day. Spent the whole day at a hidden waterfall a few days back which we trekked to for a good 10 km uphill, so Kat and I are a bit woozy today.
I’m sitting here in our cabin with our hooligan worm bellies, Maya and Dotty passed out on the bed, in the middle of the jungles of Playa Ballena – one of the most exotic and “scenic” places here in Costa Rica and as I write this, one quote strangely keeps popping up in my head.
“Success is a decision away.”
(like a creepy whisper… but not like gollum creepy – just regular creepy)
I go on Facebook, and there it is too, with a nice beach photo in the background (Im easily distracted!)
So with all the stuff that’s been going on around here with Kat and I…
Moving and traveling around, adopting 2 stray kittens (more on this cuteness later), creating something huge (stay tuned), growing our team of online entrepreneurs, doing private masterminds with our clients, and all the crazy things we’ve been able to do…
I’m reminded of that time I started to chase my dreams of travel and living a life by design…
When I lost all care in the world, moving fast, breaking things… to achieve my goals…
As I look back now, I can tell you, there was no logic behind my decision…
…nor was there a ‘go’ green light that lit up.
Some stars may have aligned in the process, but the truth is, there was only that feeling of “enough is enough”, accompanied with this unfaltering straight face I’ve had ever since
…and a desire to finally win!
See, when you get to a point in life when you’re just “sick and tired of being sick and tired”, you start to unravel and understand things for what they really are.
You start to ‘reverse engineer’ your thoughts, the why, the how…
“Why is this always happening to me?”
“Ok, whats really going on here, whats the situation… How can I change this now?”
You start to accept things you never did before…
(humbly yet with an unapologetic hunger for what’s to come)
Even accepting the most painful and empowering realization of all that YOU…
…are the creator.
That things do NOT happen to you, YOU make things happen!
Make sense, right?
(or am I going crazy? …hm)
So as you can probably tell, I’m just going along with how I feel as I write this post (it’s looking very action-packed but stick till the end, I have a surprise in mind)
For sure though, this is all straight from the heart. 🙂
(If there’s any typos, my bad!)
But as you know, over the past few years, Kat and I have been on this journey of entrepreneurship and any chance we get to help out others with our ‘insider secrets’, we share.
You can get access to some of our best lifestyle and business trainings here, but if you’re not up for watching over 4 hours of intensive ‘actionable’ marketing strategies that are working really well right now, that’s totally cool!
But if you’ve watched our trainings and want to learn more from us then…
This is for you!
And thanks for being awesome – You’re a rockstar!!!
I’m totally behind what ever it is you are up to! So if you’ve wanted a ‘change’ for the longest time, and have seriously been considering just ‘going for it’ (maybe you already have)
like making life altering decisions…
to let go of people… (hard but necessary)
to declutter your mind…
to have a fresh start…
maybe to travel the world…
to move overseas…
to quit your job…
to experience new things…
What ever it is, I’m not going to stop you from doing it!
Instead I’m going to encourage you to keep going.
And in this blog post I share with you, I hope I HOPE you learn something that makes you go ‘ah – ha’ and go balls to the wall, with massive imperfect action!
Because everything in life requires urgency and some things I’m going to share, I didn’t quite understand when we started and if somebody had just told me about these, we would’ve hit our goals a lot sooner.
13 Things I Wish I Had Known When We Started Our Business Online
1. Think of money as a resource.
For starters, I’m not ashamed to say that when I started online, it was my intention to make money because I’m actually proud of that.
Money is a very huge resource for us and funny enough most people in our past life go around saying its NOT important and seriously, I can only think of three reasons why.
One – they lack the knowledge to keep any.
Two – they have a shortage of ideas to make more.
and when they do come up with ideas…
Three – they never do it long enough to see a result!
But let’s get one thing clear though, money is NOT everything.
I know this.
But it does provide a means for us to be, do and have more.
…healthier food, better living, better sleep and better everything.
Ok ok minus the diet coke in my hand! Just can’t help it sometimes…
beach + watching tourists unsuccessfully apply sun tan on their backs + diet coke = ♥
In terms of business, it means hiring more people to help you scale your business, putting more money into advertising to create more revenue, and creating better products to serve more people.
In terms of traveling, it means better accommodation, better adventure trips, and better travels.
Can you believe that Kat and I have never stayed in a hostel and have been traveling for 3 years?
In fact for the last year and 9ish months of living in Costa Rica, we’ve actually rented only beach front resorts and properties.
The last place we stayed in for a year was a resort with a private beach overlooking Playa Flamingo.
THIS is what I want you to experience.
to live inspired…
to live free…
each and every day.
Some people think we’re nuts for living like this, but let me explain what this does to you (at least this is what our experience has been)
Which brings me to…
2. Always Invest in you.
When we started out, we bought this personal development course for over grand, and at the time, it was such a hard decision. I mean a grand for a course – you kidding me? I said…
…and in the course, we learned the importance of ‘investing in ourselves’.
funny how that works…
Unknowingly, we invested in ourselves – and that investment told us that it was an investment.
But what we learned from that course has helped us create well over 6 figures in our ventures since quitting our jobs and if you ask me, was that really worth a grand?
Waaaaaaaaaaaaaay more, Dumbledore.
We’ve since then, been investing into our education, into better-ing our communication skills, living in beach front resorts, traveling more, and really giving ourselves EVERY reason to be, do and have everything we desire.
Here’s my formulated thought:
When you get into the habit of investing in you, and give yourself only the best possible option, you allow abundance into your life.
And when you do, you create this certainty, this “I know I can do it – I KNOW IT!!” energy in what you do daily, what you think about and ultimately, what you let out into the universe.
Now, here’s the cool part…
Because you just gave yourself the ‘best possible option’, your mind knows no doubt, you can do it again…
If you really want to quit your job and live overseas, start making it ‘real’ and invest in yourself. Take a week off from work and actually go to that place you envisioned.
A villa in Tuscany by the lake maybe?
Great! Book the trip ASAP and have a blast!
Experience the place, live in it, every bit of it – momentarily.
When you return (assuming you can bring yourself to leave), you now have ‘the real taste’ of living there.
Books, pictures, travel blogs and stories of people traveling can only describe so much of what its like.
But being there, touching, smelling, and feeling everything is different.
It changes your priorities.
It becomes real.
Don’t you think your desire to live there would be a lot stronger now?
Wouldn’t your time be more scarce, be more productive and be more valuable each day that passes, knowing that your goal can be attained so easily?
Leading me to the third (and don’t argue with me on this lol jk)…
3. Yes, you DESERVE it! and no, having money does NOT make you evil
I gotta laugh when I hear people say that rich people are bad (people like to generalize don’t they? smh)
FYI: Because running businesses involves dealing with money, I feel that, whatever issues you have with it, (we all have them) you must face them now so you know how to deal with them later on, and so you don’t sabotage yourself somewhere in your journey.
Be ok with getting paid.
Be ok with making lots of it.
Be deserving of it.
Be grateful for it.
Money is totally evil free and here’s why…
What ever you’re doing now, let’s say you like to give and help others, as a result of ‘accepting’ money into your life, you’ll do more of that.
Let me explain.
If you’ve always been involved in giving to charities, non-profit organizations, weird ice bucket challenges etc.., chances are, the more money you make, the more you’ll keep giving, and more!
It’s not like you’re gonna go and join a drug syndicate and be at the top of the crime movement (i hope not)
You’ll just be you.
But more of you, and flourish more, because of what you are now able to provide for yourself and others around you!
You might even consider quitting your job and doing this full-time. (just sayin’)
And this is why I help people develop their skills to market online (products, services, anything) because I believe without a shadow of a doubt, this is the HIGHEST PAID SKILL to have in the world today.
It’s not about having the greatest film…
It’s not about writing the greatest book…
It’s not about having the greatest product (although it helps to put ALL your creative effort into them)…
It’s about HOW you can get those to the right people who want it, as much as you do.
…and the cool part?
You’re not bound to one place… you can ‘work’ from anywhere in the world and travel.
Because really, once money is out of the equation, you’re free to do what you love, and your self will love you for it.
Devote your time to learning how to create a second income NOW.
For Kat and I, learning how to market anything online has been the major catalyst for creating this lifestyle and this ‘oh so fun ride’ into entrepreneurship.
Do your research, follow successful online entrepreneurs, watch our Pura Vida Project Live Hangouts every Thursday and you’ll be blown away by what you’ll discover and what you can do with it.
Your homework: Take 20 minutes out of your day and go for a walk.
Start thinking about all the cool things you like to do.
You’ll notice that most of these are good deeds towards other people.
The first time I did this, I realized I liked helping out my neighbours with little things like watching their dogs or helping Kat do the cruelest things like looking for creepy crawlies and killing them lol (this was back in the city days – not anymore though!)
Or making someone smile when they’re down, and buying them coffee. weird huh?
(Coffee really is the secret to a happy existence)
Or how Kat and I like to take in stray animals even if they’re flee infested lol
It’s a lot of work, but it makes us happy.
What makes you happy?
Which brings me to the third (and you’ve gotta be honest here)…
4. Know and accept where you are.
The only way you can truly be happy and do the things you like to do, is to know your next move forward.
If you are rock bottom, great.
It’s time to move up.
If you’re plateau-ing in your ventures, take two steps back, and take one step forward.
If you don’t know what to do next, read inspirational books, listen to audios, listen to this, get a mentor (see next) or google ‘what should i do now?’.
I’m sure you’ll get some ideas lol
But you see what I’m getting at?
Know where you stand so you know your next move.
5. Grab yourself a mentor
There are 3 different kinds of mentors in my dictionary.
Direct , Indirect and ‘Facebook’.
Direct is one on one coaching. The stuff I mostly do, (because its fun) and gets my clients a very direct result. I show you what to do, now you do it in front of me lol (at least that’s how I coach my marketing students to get them the results we both want to get – no pat on the shoulder until its done)
Indirect is a bit different. It’s a DIY kind of thing, where you follow videos, audios and LIVE training classes from a mentor. No pressure, no deadline – just you and your time.
‘Facebook’ – this makes me laugh now that I realized where I get my daily inspiration…
Assuming you’ve filtered out the negative peeps and the complainers, and have added some of the most inspirational people in the universe…
Then you can scroll through your newsfeed and be happily inspired by quotes, videos and anything that can ‘further’ you to your next step.
Here’s a few inspirational people and fan pages that I follow:
Tim Ferriss (of course)
Mentoring is something that most people overlook these days but if you look at the most successful people in life and in business, they’ve all been mentored in some form or another to achieve the level of success they’ve created.
Having a mentor show you EXACTLY how something is done is the best way to model their success.
Most times it comes with a steep price, and in my opinion it has to be like that because the part where you ‘acquire’ a mentor is a huge stepping stone. The process of getting money, scrambling for more and doing everything you can to work with a mentor who has what you want, says a lot about you and ‘why’ you’ll succeed.
Take massive action amigo.
It suits you well.
6. Be curious and always want to learn more.
Be a peeping tom and always participate in what’s going on in your niche.
When I started online, I was curious about EEEEVERYTHING.
Kat and I have spent well over 30k on coaching, going to conferences and digital products online to get to where we are now.
We’d go on live trainings, read books on days end, watch webinar after webinar… and little did i know 2 years later, we’d be doing these live trainings and webinars ourselves, and now know what its like to be on the other end of the screen.
quite an exciting feeling!
And no (if you’re wondering), you don’t have to spend anywhere close to that, especially now that you’ve got access to our trainings.
Leverage the work we’ve already done. Implement them and apply them in your business, and learn from our successes and failures.
7. Learn from other people’s mistakes.
If we were diving from a cliff into a waterfall and I jumped first…
Hit a rock on the way down, cracked my head open and bleeding everywhere (by now I’m woozy and zombie like), and out of panic I pulled down my swim shorts and used them to stop the bleeding and keep my head together…
By the looks of that, I’m assuming you wouldn’t jump on the same spot?
…or jump at all, right?
We’re on the same page.
Always learn from others’ mistakes because there’s a reason why we made them and why you should learn from them.
Even Maya learns from Dotty’s craziness lol
Watch one of our recent webinars where we talk about some of the mistakes we made when we started out in Webinar 2: “Systems, Leverage and Automation” and see how this can help you get to where you want to be faster.
8. Brand yourself the right way.
And by this, I don’t mean getting a cool logo designed over at fiverr.com and spending hours upon hours creating a website with clickable thingeys. You can of course do all these (I’m guilty of this too) but at the end of the day, this won’t make me money at all.
These are what’s called a time suck… and I recommend outsourcing this stuff, so you can focus on the most important thing:
Branding yourself with your results.
If you’re in the fitness niche and selling weight loss products, be a product of the product.
Show others the results you’ve gotten from what you preach, sell and use.
But what if I’m a newbie you ask…
Well, get a result that you can show people how to do.
Be solution based, and ask, “With the skills I’ve learned, what problems can I solve for my community?”
Learn, Do, Teach.
Besides, what better way is there to gain followers if not to get the results your audience seeks to get, right?
If you’re in the dog training niche, there better be no smell of poop inside your house.
Get my point?
9. Start building your audience today.
The only way you can really make a significant and sustainable amount of money online is by having an audience of wildly responsive fans and followers that follow everything you do (or your brand).
Secretly, people stalk you (I do this, and don’t lie, you do too) because they can relate to you and they know for a fact that YOU can help them get to where you are now, and where they want to be.
Here are my suggestions.
1 – Start building an email list. Download our PDF guide in Webinar 2 Resources on how to create a responsive email list and actually connect with them in a non spammy, cool and effective way.
2 – Be present on social media (interact, share and engage). Download our Facebook Ads Guide in Webinar 3 Resources here.
3 – Create a fan page about you or your business and share it on our Fan Page Friday Events. This is a TOTALLY FREE SERVICE that we offer small business owners and entrepreneurs a way to network and start building relationships with, with hundreds of active participants every week. Go to The Epic Duo Fan Page on Fridays at 12am.
4 – Create a youtube channel, and follow Webinar 1 of our series, “How To Easily Get Started Online and Immediately Create a Tribe of Wildly Responsive Fans, Followers and ‘READY TO BUY’ Customers To You in 24 Hours.” and rank your videos on the first page of google and youtube.
Which leads me to why people WILL follow you…
10. Be cool. Stay chill.
One of the things I realized when we got started online, was that people were just attracted to us, our style, our laid back ‘pura vida’ vibe (thank you Costa Rica) – on facebook, youtube, and everywhere we went.
Kat gets discounts at the small store down the beach and we don’t know why. (discounted ice cream tastes so good!)
We’re not special, we’re just chill 🙂
In my last blog post, “3 things I learned from living life Unrealistically”, I wrote always do EPIC SHIT and this rings very true here.
I don’t see myself following someone highly strung, always worrying about stuff, always playing it safe… vs someone who just jumps for it.
Would you follow an investment banker who talks about boring financial freedom, “all the risks”, “things you need to be careful with”, “what not to do”, “teaching you how to have a safe retirement after working for 45+ years”, etc, who works a full-time job and goes on 1 week vacations once a year?
Would you listen to a couple who tells you to just ‘go for it’, travels the world on years end, running multiple businesses online, balancing lifestyle and business, while making shit happen and actually living their LIFE?
Something tells me we might be onto something here 🙂
Besides you only live once, right?
My suggestion is:
Make it a habit to take risks everyday (small ones – like eating black licorice) and know that you can’t figure everything out first hand.
…that you can only prepare so much for an event, but the magic really happens along the way. The journey to success is a process… ever hear this before?
Course correct like a rocket launched into space.
Your homework: (just for shits and giggles) do something crazy epic today
Take a walk outside, cook something exciting, feed a nicaraguan monkey(?), start a business, watch a horror movie, buy a $20 coffee and don’t regret it, use internet explorer, go base jumping, eat sashimi.
Be cool, stay chill, do epic shit!
Which leads me into how to put it all together… (the fun begins… vamos!)
11. Learn how to market yourself effectively.
How do you actually create a business and have a life at the same time?
First things first, it does NOT happen overnight.
Second, you need to learn certain skills that will take you there.
Third, see the last two.
One quote that has stuck with me all these years, (I might have been the one who said this lol – I don’t know anymore)
“When you can market yourself effectively, when you can get people to ‘join’ your vision, you will never go hungry.”
Over the past 3 years, Kat and I have been able to brand ourselves online for doing all sorts of crazy fun and weird things with our life.
✓ Like quitting our jobs in 2011 with no plan B…
✓ Still living on the beaches of Costa Rica, almost 2 years later…
✓ Creating our own physical product that never sold, but I still look at everyday (3 years in denial later) lol
✓ Finding a much MUCH cooler way to make money selling other people’s products and proceeding to generate a ridiculous amount of sales without knowing how to create a single website…
✓ Helping a ton of new people who’ve never made money online make their first sales of 25, 100, 500 etc.. with our resources (traffic, sales conversions – the fun cool stuff) and what we teach and mentor here.
✓ Making things ‘go viral’ on youtube and facebook and helping others do the same…
✓ Creating funny videos that have nothing to do with business, but still make us money lol…
✓ Being in the top 200s out of 160,000 affiliates promoting a single affiliate offer…
✓ Having an online legend and millionaire tell us we made money while we were at the beach a few times – and we didn’t even know!
Thank you Lawrence! We couldn’t have done the things we’ve able to do without your guidance and mentorship! You rock!
✓ Going on stage for creating an income in the top 3% of one of the affiliate programs we leverage…
✓ Having some of our best trainings locked in a private team vault, and can only be accessed with a $5k membership…
✓ Holding live masterminds on the beaches of Langosta, Tamarindo broadcasted to thousands of people…
…and just over the past weeks, Kat and I have been able to generate well over 5 figures in our ventures and affiliate earnings… (see proof in our webinars where we show you exactly how we’ve been able to do this, step by step)…
Doing what we teach, simply taking daily actions and being a product of the product.
This is not to brag – this is to show you what internet marketing can do for you.
Heck, if a couple like us who started from ZERO, with NO marketing knowledge, and NO experience creating an income online, SO CAN YOU.
Which brings me to…
12. The formula
This is the single most important formula you’ll every need to know to create an income online and have a life at the same time, (and don’t take this lightly either):
Traffic + Conversions = Lifestyle + Profits
English: Everyday, send people to a high converting product that is in demand (offer with a website) with a good custom sales funnel (that sells for you) and that is proven to work, over and over and…
3-7% will buy upfront.
5-8% will buy in the next few months.
10% will buy in the next year.
10% will buy in the following years
the rest will bug you for free stuff and ask funny questions lol
delete/ignore/engage – your pick.
Rinse and Repeat.
But imagine the compound effect…
That’s the important thing here.
When you build momentum in your business, keep it going, at all cost!
The compound effect is phenomenal.
Personally, we’ve created massive success simply following our own formula promoting ANY affiliate offer, but this is of course, NOT a guarantee of sales or income. These are our numbers.
But if you’re curious as to how we do this:
Here’s our simple 4 part strategy:
1 – Choose a product you want to sell. Visit online market places like amazon.com, jvzoo.com, clickbank.com, commissionjunction.com and create your free affiliate accounts. These days, we only promote internet marketing products that work really well. (oh and some tshirts too)
2 – Create a value based content piece about the product or service (a video, a blog post, repurposed content, ebook, etc)
3 – Strategize a way to get people to your offer using a combination of free and paid marketing strategies.
4- aaaaaand market daily! That’s really it! (and of course, answering the occasional “are you real?” question)
Still too vague?
But here’s my advice going forward.
Kat and I are big advocates for entrepreneurship, freedom and education.
And for the last few years, we’ve been able to create a life that EVERY coach, consultant, blogger, internet marketer, network marketer wishes for.
Not because we know something they don’t (maybe – but I doubt it)
It’s because, we’re willing to do the things they won’t.
13. Be willing.
The hardest thing in life, even before getting into online marketing, social media, consulting, businesses, etc, is getting over your resistance to doing something right.
It’s not the lack of preparation, or how difficult something is, or how competitive the market place is. It’s not even how much money you have in your bank account.
It’s the shit chatter in our brain.
If for a second, we give it some attention, excuses, alibis, and self justifications why you “can’t”, “won’t” , and “shouldn’t” do what we need to do, WILL take over your whole life.
Be willing to do the work.
Be willing to climb the longest stairway even if you risk falling face first on the bottom.
Be willing to fail, to succeed and to do it all over again.
Because EVERYTHING in life, and LIFE itself is worth succeeding for.
So let’s recap…
(and hope you had tons of fun reading this as I did writing it!)
When starting out online, make sure you have a good foundation and seek a mentor’s help. Be willing to learn and be a student for life. Know what it takes to get where you want to go, and again BE WILLING to go through it all. You next step? Get all the shit chatter outta your brain and just DO IT! Start building your audience, brand yourself by getting massive results, keep learning everyday, be cool, stay chill, and Do epic shit!
(my parents would be proud)
So I leave you with this today, because something tells me you’re different and what you’ll read next will COMPLETELY resonate with you.
“Here’s to the crazy ones, the misfits, the rebels, the troublemakers, the round pegs in the square holes… the ones who see things differently — they’re not fond of rules… You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them, but the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things… they push the human race forward, and while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius, because the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.”
– Steve Jobs
“Live Inpired. Live Free. Live an EPIC Life”
Playa Ballena, Costa Rica
13 Things I Wish I Had Known When We Started Our Business Online